A Bill to enable use of foreign troops or foreign police in Australian “emergencies”

Photo from the ABC

Bevan Ramsden is a long-time peace and community activist, and a member of the National Coordinating Committee of IPAN, the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. Here, he writes about the the plan to increase militarisation of policing in Australia, and especially, the attempt to allow foreign police and troops to be used (Pearls and Irritations 1 October 2020). This would set the ground for major intervention by the United Sates into Australian affairs.

A bill is before federal parliament to enable the ADF, Reserves and foreign military forces and police to be used in Australian emergencies. It gives them immunity from civil or criminal prosecution for actions arising from these emergency duties.

Photo by Chris Hopkins: The military is already being used for civilian policing in Australia

“Emergencies” are undefined. Could they include industrial actions or large-scale climate change protest actions?

There are very worrying implications in a Bill being considered in Federal Parliament.

It is called the “Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force response to Emergencies) Bill, 2020”.

Clause 123AA:

(4) The Chief of the Defence Force, or the Secretary, may, in writing, authorise a person, or each person in a class of persons, to perform duties in respect of the provision of assistance mentioned in subsection (1), if the person, or each person in the class of persons, is any of the following:

(a) an APS employee or other employee of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority or agency.

(b) a member of the naval, military or air force of a foreign country, or a member of a foreign police force (however described).

Assistance is described as follows in clause (1) of 123AA:

(b) the assistance is provided to prepare for a natural disaster or other emergency that is imminent, or to respond to one that is occurring or recover from one that occurred recently; and

(c) the assistance is provided at the direction of the Minister under subsection (2).

It enables the ADF and Reserves to be used in “emergencies” but “emergencies” is undefined.

Bush fire assistance is one emergency which might be justified but could certain so-called “disruptive” industrial actions or “disruptive” mass climate change protests be considered “emergencies”?

These are legitimate actions in our democracy but being confronted or suppressed by the Defence Forces or Reserves would not be a legitimate use of these Forces in a healthy democracy.

One wonders whether the government preparing for a militarised response to climate breakdown.

Further the legislation includes the use of foreign military forces and foreign police to assist in “emergencies”.

Photo by Jordan Grlbert/U.S. Marine Corps: Marines landing in Darwin. Will they be used for policing in Australia?

Surely, we Australians are, with appropriate resources and organisation, capable of addressing emergencies without the need for foreign troops or foreign police. And we certainly don’t want these foreign forces confronting and suppressing legitimate protest actions by Australian citizens.

In addition, the legislation provide immunity from civil or criminal prosecution to the defence forces including foreign military, for their actions in these “emergencies”.

Clause 123AA:

A protected person (see subsection (3)) is not subject to any liability (whether civil or criminal) in respect of anything the protected person does or omits to do, in good faith, in the performance or purported performance of the protected person’s duties,….

A protected person is defined under 123AA:

3) Each of the following is a protected person:

(a) a member of the Defence Force.

(b) an APS employee in the Department.

(c) a person authorised under subsection (4) to perform duties in respect of the provision of assistance mentioned in subsection (1).

Foreign military forces and foreign police are included in subsection (1) are so are also provided with immunity from civil and criminal prosecution arising from their actions in performing duties in these “emergencies”.

Anthony Albanese has been silent on this Bill.

Our political representatives in Federal Parliament should be urged to halt this legislation until it is closely examined by civil rights and constitutional law experts to ensure our civil and democratic rights are not under threat or our sovereignty compromised by this legislation.

10 Comments on "A Bill to enable use of foreign troops or foreign police in Australian “emergencies”"

  1. Shows how contemptuous of the public they supposedly represent, and to my dismay, the conspiracy theory of the NEW WORLD ORDER appears to be true!

  2. Tommy Harraghy | 8 October 2020 at 11:20 pm | Reply

    There comes a time when common sense must prevail. If this bill is true we as a nation are in trouble. I’m concerned after watching Attenboroughs latest program about the devastation around the world of nature that we humans cannot connect after all these years we have signed up to the destruction of our own species. No trust left no compassion left , just dog eat dog. What a sorrowful bunch we have evolved into. Does this bill lead to further conflict now within our own borders. Looks like it. May your gods help you 😢

  3. Rudy Robinson | 9 October 2020 at 6:25 am | Reply

    Democracy dismantled, a bit at a time. Turning into the regimes we criticise the most.

  4. Raeleen McGowa | 9 October 2020 at 9:19 am | Reply

    Whatever happened to our Sovereignty which is tout f as a t adon to lock people up in prison for years depriving them of human rights and civil liberties? Oh I see this is an automated xtension of that but now it’s about the citizenship of the country
    Silly me Where does Dutton get these ideas from and who allows him to take them to the parliament ? Idiots can be so sangerous

  5. Perhaps someone is remembering the riots in London in 1990 when Thatcher pushed the Poms too far, and preparing the troops.

  6. Foreign police were used at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. NZ tactical police bolsters the NSW political ce.

  7. As a former member of the ADF, my belief is the Australia I served is no longer, and unfortunately, the only ones to place blame to is those who voted for Scomo and his parasites. Now as the old saying goes, ye shall reap what ye sow. So let’s hope that this is not correct.

  8. This bill is treasonous!
    If any foreign troops or police forces are ever allowed to operate in Australia, even in emergencies, they need to be considered an invading, enemy force and treated as such.

  9. Absolutely NO ONE should EVER have IMMUNITY from prosecution.

    For any law to be valid it must apply equally to everyone.

  10. Absolutely NO ONE should EVER have IMMUNITY from prosecution.

    For any law to be valid it must apply equally to everyone.

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